Winter - That Time of the Year Again…

Throwing back my hair onto the cold crisp pillow after a sweet glass of Merlot welcomes the eagerly anticipated extra hour of sleep. The approaching of daylight saving comes as a bliss in the chaotic end of year celebration periods. However this godsend hour is not to be taken for grant, for the horrors of winter follows. To quote the great Game of Thrones, this is indeed when you know ‘winter is coming’. The brutality of winter plays havoc on our hard-fought soft skin maintain throughout the year. Everyone knows the pain from the daggers of freezing Arctic wind but now it is still not too late to stock the supplies to save our skins through the harsh winter months.

Fortunate for us, the skincare industry had long anticipated that our efforts for beautifully kept skin through the rest of the year should not be in vain simply because winter approaches.

The heinous winter robs your skin of natural oil and moisture in the following ways:

  • The dry, cold winter wind strips the skin of essential moisturising natural oils
  • Once indoors and the heating is switched on, the home is then dryer further reaping the skin of its moisture
  • Hot showers and baths taken to ward off the cold removes last of the moisture that the skin was clinging on to leave it even dryer and unprotected
  • Once you return to the cold outdoors again the skin is less protected, therefore the drying process continues and gets progressive worse causing cracks and irritation in the skins even to the point of bleeding

We all know the importance of skincare during the hotter months when we apply sun-cream to protect against the UV rays from the sun, we all remember to apply make-up properly with the use of primers to protect the skin from possible damage by the harsh minerals in the make-up and why in the winter do we forget to keep the skin well moisturised?!

Most of us are not blessed with beautifully elastic skin with the capability to ward off the winter cold, and therefore we turn to our trusted skincare products for assistance. It is very important to remember that although a product hailed as a miracle elixir may only be the perfect product for individuals of a certain skin type, therefore it is important to read the instructions and the ingredients before blindly purchasing simply because it worked for most other people.

The main concern for our skin is the drain of moisture and the most logical solution would be to find a product which is most moisturising. However in the winter this is not enough, as the cold wind and all aspects of dryness in the house from heating, there needs to be further protection of moisture from escaping rather than simply to fill the void. It is important to note that many over the counter moisturisers contain petroleum based ingredients which in wintery conditions can block our pore and make our skin dryer.

There are skincare specialists whom each had developed products specifically targeting the effects of winter.

Avene: The Cold Cream range is one of the only skincare ranges produced specifically to target the harshness of winter. This range covers everything from cleansing gels to body lotions, personally my favourite is the Cold Cream hand cream, it is soothingly cool and effective in seconds. It kind of silly to only have a silky smooth face with tree bark hands, so ladies let us not forget those tough old callus on our digits ;).

Although the following brands do not have a purpose made range for the winter, they have incredible products made for intense moisturising and protection against the elements.

Darphin

  • Hydraskin, as suggested by name, the products in this range are of course made to moisturise the skin. Hydraskin also contain sodium hyaluronate (don’t worry no injections required!) used to reduce wrinkles, so you can pull off that wrinkle-free smile even in the depths of winter. If you tend to get flaky skin in the colder months, this is a must buy for you!
  • Intral is made with sensitive skin in mind, but it offers protection against drying skin in the winter which is even more important for those of us that have sensitive skin. Intral Sensitive Skin is available in balm, cream and serum form depending on your specific use. The deep penetrating nature of the serum helps to tackle sensitive skins from the epidermis.
  • Oils: the Darphin oils are the holy grail of essential oils, made from natural ingredients. For wintery conditions, you can’t go wrong nourishing your skin with oils because they invigorate the surface of the skin where the natural oil from the body had been lost, as well as forming a protective layer on the surface of the skin. The best part about the Darphin essential oils is its consistency with our bodily lipids so when absorbed it is welcomed to fight alongside our own and keeping the skin well moisturised yet without that hideous gloss of grease on your face.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal: The products in this range are specifically designed for moisturising the skin locking in moisture for as long as 48hours. In winter when your skin is constantly under attack from the moisture thieving environments, this moisture protection barrier plays a huge part in keeping our skin from cracking.

La Roche-Posay offers more than just nourishing creams and serums, they begin the moisturising process from the moment you wash away the natural oils. The shower creams they produce lock in the moisture inside during showering unlike the effects of standard shower gels that wash away the protective bodily oil barrier. I would personally recommend the Hydraphase Intense for this purpose

Now that we are pampered with so many options, let us spare a thought for the men in our lives who put up with our domination in the bathroom cabinet. For him, I would throw you the L’Oreal Paris Hydra Energetic Moisturiser, the best thing about this product is the simplicity in getting it on his face without him wailing in the loss of his masculinity (ironic, I know!). The moisturiser hydrates the skin after shaving, and with the help of energising agents, it gives a cooling sensation to ease shaving pain, plus it also wakes him up in the morning.

All the products recommended here are paraben-free and non-comedogenic, so your face will be supple and soft through the winter without nasty side-effects! :D

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